It occurrs to me that “Once Around The Block” by Badly Drawn Boy is one of my favourite songs, but that although I have various albums by him, I never listen to them. I don’t “want to listen to Badly Drawn Boy”, I want to listen to that song. I quite like a lot of his output, but with this song, the stars aligned. It’s not a radical departure for him, stylistically speaking, and it’s not ‘the only good song he’s done’, but it’s a class apart, to my ear. If he’d released it then sunk without trace (or…I wish him no ill…if he’d recorded everything else under a different name) I’d be somehow a bit happier. It would feel like a little nugget of perfection, untainted by anything merely ‘good’. 100% of his output would be perfect. I’d wish for more then, of course, but I think I’d prefer that.
“Tears Dry On Their Own” by Amy Winehouse is the same. The wistful yet bouncy chorus, the obvious building-towards-something structure of the verse, the absolutely spot-on little motown-flavoured drum fills…Oh yes, it’s absolutely the best thing she ever did, but somehow - despite her undoubted talent - if it was the only thing, it would be…well, if you’ve found one spectacular little treasure, isn’t it so much more special than finding it along with a load of quite-nice bits and pieces?
Slightly differently: “Growing On Me” by The Darkness. I really like that album, and they’re great fun live, but when I get in my van and wind the window down on a sunny day, I hear the intro to Growing On Me in my head; I don’t think “I’m in the mood for The Darkness”. So again, I’d be happy if that was a one hit wonder, but not in the same way. With the first two I’d be happier.
Any more for any more?